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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  March 12, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT

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much. that brings us to the end of this edition of inside story. thanks for being with us. join us next time. in washington, i'm ray suarez. >> i'm phil torres, welcome to a special episode of "techknow." we wanted to share a story with you of innovation that brings out the spirit of welcome. >> hello, i'm cara santa maria, and i'm here to talk about innovations that change lines. we explore the intersection between hardware and humanity and we do it in a unique way.
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scientists. >> phil torres is our spider-man, studying insects. our real-life spider-man takes us to colorado, where ironman comes to life helping a woman stand tall despite a devastating difficulty, kosta grammatis is an engineer designing a bion yik eye. he takes us to maryland to meet a young man who designed a test to predict panser. i'm cara santa maria: that's the team, now let do some science. >> we are back here at the
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meeting plates having coffee. you guys have incredible stories. i'm interested to hear about this exosuit. >> it was invented 1500 years ago. i am sure we are due for an upgrade. it might be it. check out the robot. you are seeing it on its own, where it's tested. but there on a person. i got to meet the test pilots putting the suits through the paces and some amazing people. let's take a look. . >> hi. >> i have a dream happening. >> these kids from a summer camp near aspen colorado are about to give amanda box tell a life-changing gift. a gift that will help her do something she has not been able to do since she was paralyzed in a skiing accident 21 years ago. >> i want to
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invite the kids to just rip into it. >> it's a bionic robot called and exo. a battery powered robot giving her legs the power to do this. >> are you ready? >> two, one, blast off. [ cheering ] >> and this. >> i'm walking, you guys. >> and even this. >> the technology is so cutting edge that amanned say is the first person in the -- amanda is the first person in the united states to own one. >> the moment she stood up, i was amazed. she's been sitting down for 21 years. the first feeling to stand up. i would have been thrilled to be in that position.
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>> it was an emotional moment for the kids who spent the past year selling countless cups of lemonade and raising money from happen. >> it was my dream right there. all i wanted to see was her walk. it was amazing. >> amanda - it was the cull mipation of a dream -- culmination of a dream she had ever since she was told she would never walk again. >> the profound moment was when i stood up and tried to see the children's faces and some of them, the little ones - they were just in awe. and to have that heart to heart hug. my hug in a wheelchair , there's a discontext. i get heart to heart hugs when i stand up. >> do you promise me a standing hug later? >> yes.
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>> amanda took her first steps towards making that dream a reality reality in 2010. she got a call from the robots tester. she travelled to the san francisco bay area and took it for a test run. how did it feel to stand and look at sneem. >> the fires time i stood up i went home and cried hard, in all honesty. these were emotions that i had been dreaming about for so long. i felt so good in my body. i slept hard. and i wasn't in pain. >> total ending steps, 4,850. so nice. >> the technology is fast-moving, and constantly they are coming up with something new.
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that's why i love flying to california and saying, "okay, bring it on, what am i trying today?" >> this is exo's headquarters, where the magic is made and perfected. robots like this are put their their paces to give people who are paralyzed a chance to do impossible. alive. >> nathan harding is a cofounder of ekso bionics. it was invented not for the health field, but battlefield as a device to help soldiers carry heavy loads. >> there's a problem with soldiers getting injured due to large loads they were carrying and they wanted to develop more. we were helping to develop exoskeleton for someone to carry
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a backpack and a vest. the breakthrough was to carry a wearable robot supporting its own weight with minimal energy, meaning it could be powered by a battery pack. and the rocking thing. >> it takes over the function of the muscles in your legs. it can do that completely for a person who is completely paralyzed below the waste or partially for someone who is trying to relearn to walk, like someone that had a streak. >> jason guys -- geeser is a test pilot. >> i put it in walk mode. take the step and as i move my body the exomoves. if i stop, the exostops so i can go forward and lateral. there we go. >> in 2008 his spinal cord was injured in a motorcycle accident
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that almost killed him. jason found out he was paralyzed in a dream he had while in a coma. it was his girlfriend karen who delivered the news. and her message said this, almost verbatim, "baby, it's me. you were in a bad motorcycle accident and the doctors say you'll never walk again. if this is not the life you want to live, we understand and we'll let you know. if you want to stay and fight, i'll be here with you." i can hardly tell that story without tearing up. i knew that i had always been a fighter. i wasn't going to give up. >> exo odds. >> so many emotions go through you. you have fear of, you know, did it work.
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and there's excitement as they space. >> test pilots like amanda boxtell and jason geeser, how have they helped you to advance the technology. >> everything is unpredictable once you introduce a human into the system. >> i remember being in the room with 13 ph.d. s, and they had a different idea of what would be the exact way to control something. without amanda and jason, we'd be at a standstill. we couldn't test anything. >> first time i used the exo, the physical therapist was the on one having control. they'd monitor the body condition and take the step. >> they didn't walk you into a wall or anything like that? >> but i know he cares. he catches me. >> andexo has pushed the
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boundaries, but it can only be therapist. >> are you ready. >> then there's the price tag. from $110,000-$140,000. exobionics hopes it will be approved for home use. >> there's nothing about the device that should make it more expensive than a high-end motorcycle. we need to get to those production numbers and then we can drive the the price down. >> have a hug. >> i don't get enough of these heart to heart hugs. >> if you need another hug, i'm your man. >> that's right. thank you.
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>> that was incredible. i mean, what a feat of engineering. those were basically stand-alone right. >> when they are sitting on their own they look like a person sitting there. these robots. it's weird. can you drive them. can you remotely make them go. >> that's how they start. the physiotherapist trains them by making the right leg go, the left leg go first. that's the first step. >> it's like when you take the driver'sed, and the instructor has their own wheel. >> yes, and the kids who worked so hard to raise the money to help her, being able to see her stand up. it was like, "we never knew how tall you were." >> the technology is like magic. this person, who they only knew as being in a chair all of a
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sudden can stand and walk around with the help of the robot. >> and they came out of the military - started in the military. does that mean that we are augmenting the people we are helping. are they stronger with these? it's hard to say. i will say this came from what was called the hulk, military technology, a suit designed to allow soldiers to carry heavy things and put less stress on the body. they saw the medical application, and for the scientists, they loved it saying it was the best job in the world. they worked with paraplegic people. as you saw. they put it through the works and see how to make it better. improvements. >> can the par pleejics lift things with the legs. >> not yet. it's in the walking phase, teaching them to walk, which is a miracle in itself. >> i'm really excited to see the
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miracle in action: comeback. after the break we'll see how lives. >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and
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>> welcome back to "techknow." phil is about to tell us a little more about this incredible exosuit. >> the technology is amazing. the stories behind the test pilots, that's what hits you. check it out. we talked about the science and technology, let's talk about the human elements and the miracles and what they experience with
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it. since it was first introduced e exo helped people who never thought they'd walk again take more than 3 million steps. >> that's the best part. >> not just amanda and jason, but patients in more than 40 hospitals and physical rehabilitation centres around the world. >> this one means a lot. >> it's coming from your foot. here we go. >> some of those centers are investigating whether walking with ekso can help people. >> most don't understand that once a person has a spinal injury they cost $4.6 million over their life.
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the reason why is they are rehospitalized for an array of thing that mostly had to do with life in a wheelchair. >> sometimes with nerve pain, which is common for individuals with spinal cord injuries, sometimes on a scale of one to 10, it's 11. i live with that every day. when i walk, it dissipates. >> the more frequent i walk, the more time i'm up i experience better digestion of my food. functions. >> researchers studied the robot's impact on health, it's clear that the impact on the life of a person is extraordinary. the next best thing to a miracle. for jason, exo meant he could
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walk with karen the day he made her his wife. she walks to me, we turn and walk down get married together. it was the most amazing day. i can't put words to describe how important it was for that day to happen, just like that. >> for amanda it meant she could take a stroll with the ski patroller who saved here life 21 years ago. >> hal hartmann was the first person at my accident site. he came to see me walk. that was pretty special because he looked at me and my eyes, standing up, eye to eye, and he said i never knew you were this
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tall. 21 years, he said i imagined what it might be like to look at you standing up eye to eye. i needed that. wow. >> and we walked. >> that was beautiful. i mean, wow. wow. i don't know what to say. >> the people that exo is working with, these people, i was blown away by each one of them. the way that they used the technology to influence their lives and the lives of people around them. you saw the way the guy who her. >> the man walking down the aisle - oh, my god. he walked at his wedding. that. >> i can't wait until they are faster than me. they'll run.
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>> you want to be bionic. >> totally. >> we know what, we have to take a break and when we come back, kosta grammatis, tell us about the story you covered. >> the thomas edson of our time, jack andraka, he invented a >> al jazeera america is a straight-forward news channel. >> its the most exciting thing to happen to american journalism in decades. >> we believe in digging deep. >> its unbiased, fact-based, in-depth journalism. >> you give them the facts, dispense with the fluff and get straight to the point. >> i'm on the ground every day finding stories that matter to you.
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>> in new orleans... >> seattle bureau... >> washington... >> detroit... >> chicago... >> nashville... >> los angeles... >> san francisco... >> al jazeera america, take a new look at news.
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take a new look at news. >> welcome back to "techknow."
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i'm here with kosta grammatis, phil torres. genius. >> yes. this is him, freaking out at the intel science fair when he took first place. he's 16, invented a cancer screening test. now pancreatic cancer and other cancers are hard to test for, not accurate and take time to do. he invented a cancer screening test that is changing everything. he's incredible. i got to spend a day with him, got go kayaking and see what life was like. let's check it out. >> jack, stand up. that's pretty spectacular. >> recognised by president obama, 16-year-old jack andraka may be the thomas edison of hour time. he's been making headlines since winning the 2012 intel science fair for his revolutionary cancer test.
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>> what motivated me to find a new way to detect performance rer -- panser was -- pancreatic cancer was the death of a friend of ours. >> our kids have been taught to be curious and creative. >> i understand you are a competitive kayaker. >> i'm on the u.s. junior team and got competitive in sixth grade. there's strong sibling rivalry during science fares, we compete all the time. >> oh, my god. >> with a lot of things, they might ask questions and we are like, "figure it out yourself". last year jack andraka missed 90% of his classes. what did he do, talked to expects of biotech companies and even the president.
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here in science in glenburnie maryland he made a discovery. >> my education was paramount. that's where i got competitiveness. science. >> the school lends it to 8 hours to tinker and sink. there's much on the internet to learn. i found that 85% of panicry attic cancers are diagnosed late. our current method of diagnosis is an $800 test, and it hasn't been updated in six decades. that motivated me. essentially i typed up a list of procedure, material list, time line and budget and sent to 200 professors at the st john hopkins uni and national institute of health. eventually one director said yes.
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i got it his office, i had an hour-long interview, answered the questions and got what i need the. >> when he got his lab, i just drove him there and i would sit out there for hour after hour until my poor ipod and iphone would run out of batteries. >> after seven months of trials and tribulations i got through it all and ended up with a paper sun serve. >> it was exciting that one day in late winter when he came out late at night. it worked. >> jack's method of cancer detection sues strips to test blood, a protein overproduced in people with pan ci at k and ovarian cancer. >> they get the initial reading and
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then i disperse this, and apply six microleaders. i take this measurement from the graph. at the end i subtract the maximum minus the minimum. based on the difference i can tell what a patient has pancreatic cancer and the earliest ages i can detect it when someone has 100% chance of survival. hundreds die of pancreatic cancer and my motivation is how will i help save lives. winning the intel fair was a dream come true. that got me into science. i thought, "wow, you can be a superstar with science", it was nigh dream. i was not expecting to win any awards. reaction. >> to see your child's childhood better? >> seeing someone like jack succeed at his age and sit in a
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booth with michelle obama, i think that will allow students to understand that it is possible that they could do it if they wanted to. . >> it's leaking to the bottom. don't mind that. >> it was a valuable lesson that i learnt. experiences, ideas. they don't get heard. as an influence on your ideas, they do get heard. >> jack is the thomas edison of our time. can you share your back story. >> i'm looking to adapt it to different diseases. what is cool is it's like a platform for the detection of a biological agent. alzheimer's, other forms of cancer, h.i.v. aids and heart disease. it's definitely interesting, and i'm still figuring it [ clapping ] >> >> what a cool kid.
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what is next for jack? >> jack is working on this big x prize, the tricore x prize, a device that senses many diseases wrapped into an iphone size thing. cool. that could change the medical landscape. this kid is on it. >> he has an amazing team of incredible. >> if he has done that much at 16, who knows what he'll do by 56. that kid makes me feel lacy. >> let's get -- lazy. >> let's get to it. >> he's a huge inspiration. i'm excited to see what he has in store. i'm excited to get back in the field. there's incredible medical marr store. >> "techknow"'s world never stops. dive deep into these stories and
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go behind the scenes. follow the expert contributors on twitter, facebook, google+ and more. from all of us here at "techknow," we wish you happy holidays. >> there is al jazeera america i'm tony harris. here are today's top stories. new satellite images that may get through to what happened to malaysia flight 370. president obama says we will stand with ukraine. and the fda approves what is called the strongest painkiller yet, but there are serious concerns that it may lead to abuse.
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